Auschwitz Essay Research Paper Where Their Lives

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Auschwitz Essay, Research Paper Where Their Lives Ended Concentration camps are widely involved in people s knowledge of the Holocaust. This is evident because death affects human emotions, and death is what occurred at the concentration camps. The Holocaust is remembered for all of the murdering committed, and these camps were where a majority of where it took place. The Final Solution was issued by Hitler and it was the plan to exterminate the Jewish race . Historians have generally thought that the Final Solution unfolded like this. First, the Einsatzgruppen (special task forces) entered the Soviet Union behind the invading armed forces in late June 1941 and began shooting Jews where they were found. Roughly 500,000 Jews were killed in this way between July and December

1941. At that time, the sheer number of Jews to be killed and the effect on the police of shooting women and children caused other methods to be investigated, culminating in the establishment of death camps such as Auschwitz, Treblinka and Sobibor in early 1942, to which Jews were transported and gassed with carbon monoxide or prussic acid (Zyklon B). One can only speculate what finally catalyzed Hitler into making the ultimate decision in December 1941, but a look at the situation at that time suggests several factors played a role. First, with the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the American declaration of war to Japan, and Hitler’s own declaration of war against the United States, Hitler now had the “world” war referred to by Goebbels in his diary entry of December 12,

1941. This diary entry by Hitler stated that if the Jews were to cause a world war involving Germany, then they would be annihilated. Second, the first great reversal of German fortunes in the war against the Soviet Union had taken place. On December 5, at the very gates of Moscow, the German army was stopped its tracks by the onset of a vicious Russian winter. Temperatures dropped to 31 degrees below zero that day, and the next day to 36 below. The Germans were not equipped with winter gear, the panzers (Fast German tanks) broke down, and, on the 6th, General Zhukov attacked on 200-mile front before Moscow with 100 divisions that the Germans had not even known existed. Hitler must have known at this stage that his war effort was in serious, perhaps grave danger. Third, the sheer

numbers of Jews to be killed and the difficulties doing it caused for the police who did the shooting were passed on by Himmler to Hitler. There had been discussions on the use of poisonous gas as a means of killing Jews and avoiding public spectacles that sometimes accompanied shooting throughout the autumn of 1941. These events led to the design of the concentration camp. The most infamous camp was Auschwitz. Auschwitz was more than a camp; in fact it was a vast complex consisting of more than 40 satellite camps: it was a prison camp, a labor camp, an industrial center and a death camp. The complex included the I.G. Farben Buna rubber plant, the Monowitz camp where Primo Levi was held, the main Auschwitz camp (Auschwitz I) and the Birkenau (Auschwitz II) extermination camp,

three kilometers Northwest of the main camp, where the majority of mass murders by poison gas took place. In a recent estimate of the victims of the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camps, Franciszek Piper estimates that at least 1.3 million people were deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau among whom 1.1 million were Jews. He estimates that of these 1.3 million at least 1.1 million were killed or died. Piper estimates a maximum of 1.5 million dead including 1.35 million Jews. It is a fact that an early Soviet estimate placed the victims of Auschwitz-Birkenau at 4 million and that the communist regime in Poland adhered to this number long after it was known to be untrue. It is a favorite tactic of deniers to claim that the untruth of this number should somehow affect estimates of the total